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US v.



4 Phil. 350 (1905)


Robert Baculi and Apolonio Caballeros were convicted as accessories to the crime of assassination or
murder of four American school-teachers, having buried the corpses of the victims to conceal the crime.
They were allegedly coerced.


WON the defense under Art12(5) is tenable


Yes. Not only is Baculis confession that he only assisted in the burial of the corpses because he was
compelled by the murderers, but this was corroborated by the only eyewitness to the crime, Sabate.
Sabate said that he was present when the Americans were killed; that Baculi was not a member of the
group of murderers but he was in the banana plantation gathering some bananas; that when he heard
the shots he began to run; that he was, however, seen by Damaso and Isidro, the leaders of the band;
that the latter called to him and striking him with the butts of their guns forced him to bury the corpses.
As for Caballeros, there was no proof that he took any part in the execution of the crime; there was
conclusive proof to the contrary. Sabate and Baculi declared that Caballeros did not take any part in the
burial of the aforesaid corpses, nor was he even in the place of the occurrence when the burial took
place. Their failure to report the crime is not an offense punished by the Penal Code.

People vs. Fronda (May 14, 1993)

Post under case digests, Criminal Law at Thursday, March 08, 2012 Posted by Schizophrenic Mind


Brothers, Edwin & Esminio Balaan were taken by 7 armed men in fatigue uniforms with long
firearms,suspected to be NPA members, accompanied by the accused Rudy Fronda and Roderick Padua
from thehouse of Ferminio Balaan. The armed men tied the hands of the deceased at their back lying
down facedownward, in front of the house of Ferminio. They all proceeded towards Sitio Tulong passing
throughthe rice fields. Three years later, the bodies or remains of the Balaan brothers were
exhumed.Afterwhich, the remains, were brought to the house of Freddie Arevalo, a reltive of the
deceased wherethey were laid in state for the wake. The RTC declared Fronda guilty as a principal by
indispensablecooperation. The appellant says he was only taken by the armed men as a pointer &
interposes theexempting circumstance under RPC A12(6) claiming that all his acts were performed
under the impulseof uncontrollable fear and to save his life.


Whether or not Fronda can claim the exempting circumstance of uncontrollable fear.

No. Fear in order to be valid

should be based on a real, imminent or reasonable fear for ones life

or limb. (People vs. Abanes) In the case at bar, the records indicate that appellant was seen
beinghanded by and receiving from one of the armed men a hunting knife. Also, as aforesaid, appellant
wasnot able to explain his failure to report the incident to the authorities for more than three years.
Thesecircumstances, among others, establish the fact that the appellant consciously concurred with the
actsof the assailants. In order that the circumstance of uncontrollable fear may apply, it is necessary that
thecompulsion be of such a character as to leave no opportunity to escape or self-defense in equal
combat.(People v. Loreno) Appellant had the opportunity to escape when he was ordered by the armed
men togo home after bringing the victims to the mountains. He did not. Instead he joined the armed
men whenrequired to bring a spade with which he was ordered to dig the grave. Appellant also chose to
remainsilent for more than three years before reporting the killing to the authorities. Based on
thesecircumstances, We hold that the contemporaneous and subsequent acts of appellant cannot
beregarded as having been done under the impulse of uncontrollable fear.

Ty vs PeopleG.R. No. 149275.

September 27, 2004Facts:This case stemmed from the filing of 7 Informations for violation of B.P.
22against Ty before the RTC of Manila. The said accused drew and issue toManila Doctors Hospital to
apply on account or for value to Editha L.Vecino several post-dated checks. The said accused well
knowing that atthe time of issue she did not have sufficient funds in or credit with thedrawee bank for
payment of such checks in full upon its presentment,which check when presented for payment within
ninety (90) days from thedate hereof, was subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for Account
Closed and despite receipt of notice of such dishonor, saidaccused failed to pay said Manila Doctors
Hospital the amount of thechecks or to make arrangement for full payment of the same within five
(5)banking days after receiving said notice.Ty claimed that she issued the checks because of an
uncontrollable fear of a greater injury. She claims that she was forced to issue the checks toobtain
release of her mother whom the hospital inhumanely and harshlytreated, and would not discharge
unless the hospital bills are paid.The trial court rendered judgment against Ty. Ty interposed an
appealwith the CA and reiterated her defense that she issued the checks under the impulse of an
uncontrollable fear of a greater injury or in avoidance of a greater evil or injury. The appellate court
affirmed the judgment of thetrial court with modification. It set aside the penalty of imprisonment and

instead sentenced Ty to pay a fine of sixty thousand pesos P 60,000.00equivalent to double the amount
of the check, in each case.Issue:

Whether or not the defense of uncontrollable fear is tenable towarrant her exemption from criminal


Uncontrollable fear

- For this exempting circumstance to be invokedsuccessfully, the following requisites must concur: (1)
existence of anuncontrollable fear; (2) the fear must be real and imminent; and (3) thefear of an injury is
greater than or at least equal to that committed.In the instant case, the evil sought to be avoided is
merely expected or anticipated. If the evil sought to be avoided is merely expected or anticipated or
may happen in the future, this defense is not applicableIt must appear that the threat that caused the
uncontrollable fear is of suchgravity and imminence that the ordinary man would have succumbed to
it.It should be based on a real, imminent or reasonable fear for ones life or limb. A mere threat of a
future injury is not enough. It should not bespeculative, fanciful, or remote. A person invoking
uncontrollable fear must show therefore that the compulsion was such that it reduced him to amere
instrument acting not only without will but against his will as well. Itmust be of such character as to
leave no opportunity to the accused for escape.

Speculative fear

The fear harbored by Ty was not real and imminent. Ty claims thatshe was compelled to issue the
checks, a condition the hospital allegedlydemanded of her before her mother could be discharged, for
fear that her mothers health might deteriorate further due to the inhumane treatment of

the hospital or worse, her mother might commit suicide. This isspeculative fear; it is not the
uncontrollable fear contemplated by law.

People vs. Bandian, 63 Phil 530 (1936)

FACTS: One morning, Valentin Aguilar saw his neighbor, Josefina Bandian, got to a thicket apparently to
respond to the call of nature. Few minutes later, Bandian emerged from the thicket with her clothes
stained with blood both in the front and back, staggering and visibly showing signs of not being able to
support herself. Rushing to her aid, he brought her to her house and placed her on the bed. He called on
Adriano Comcom to help them Comcom saw he body of a newborn babe near a path adjoining the
thicket where the appellant had gone a few

moments before. She claimed it was hers. Dr. Emilio Nepomuceno declared that the appellant gave birth
in her own house and three her child into the thicket to kill it. The trial court gave credit to this opinion.

Issue: WON Bandian is guilty of infanticide

Held: No. Infanticide and abandonment of a minor, to be punishable, must be committed willfully or
consciously, or at least it must be the result of a voluntary, conscious and free act or omission. The
evidence does not show that the appellant, in causing her childs death in one way or another, or in
abandoning it in the thicket, did so willfully, consciously or imprudently. She had no cause to kill or
abandon it, to expose it to death, because her affair with a former lover, which was not unknown to her
second lover, Kirol, took place three years before the incident; her married life with Kirolshe considers
him her husband as he considers him his wifebegan a year ago; as he so testified at the trial, he knew
of the pregnancy and that it was his and that theyve been eagerly awaiting the birth of the child. The
appellant, thus, had no cause to be ashamed of her pregnancy to Kirol.

Apparently, she was not aware of her childbirth, or if she was, it did not occur to her or she was unable,
due to her debility or dizziness, which cause may be considered lawful or insuperable

to constitute the seventh exempting circumstance, to take hernchild from the thicket where she had
given it birth, so as not to leave it abandoned and exposed to the danger of losing its life. If by going into
the thicket to pee, she caused a wrong as that of giving birth to her child in that same place and later
abandoning it, not because of imprudence or any other reason than that she

was overcome by strong dizziness and extreme debility, she could not be blamed because it all
happened by mere accident, with no fault or intention on her part. The law exempts from liability any
person who so acts and behaves under such circumstances (Art. 12(4), RPC). Thus, having the fourth and
seventh exempting circumstances in her favor, she is acquitted of the crime that she had been accused























Alberio went to the municipal building and saw Ural, a policeman inside the jail where he wasboxing
prisoner Napola (who was imprisoned for being drunk). When Napola fell to the groundhe U kicked him
and poured some liquid on N

and then ignited Ns body.

Dr. Luzonia Bakil who treated the victim, said that he sustained 2


degree burns on the arms,neck, left side of the face and one half of the body including the back. She also
testified thatwithout any medical intervention, the burns would have caused death-

Napola died on Aug 25 1966. Death certificate indicated burn as the cause of death.-

During the trial, the prosecutors failed to present the detention prisoners who saw the burningof Napola
as witnesses as well as the wife of the deceased-

Nevertheless, Ural was convicted of murder, was sentenced to reclusion perpetua and wasordered to
pay for costs


Whether the evidence of the prosecution was sufficient to prove his guilt beyond reasonabledoubt.


TC did not err in convicting Ural for murder.

Ural had his own version of the story. According to him he heard a scream for help from Napolawhose
shirt was in flames when found by him, he removed the shirt, but did not summon thedoctor because he
thought that the burns were not serious.

SC: this statement cannot prevail over the testimony of Alberio

This statement does not prove that he was not the one who burned Napola, at most thiscould only
mean that he was alarmed by the consequences of his evil act-

Ural assailed the credibility of Alberio as a witness, saying that he was not listed as a prosecutionwitness
and that he was convicted of murder in the past

Wouldnt preclude him from being a credible witness.

Since there was no police investigation (accused a police officer), the investigation that

ensued was done by a special counsel of the fiscals office. A possible explanation of

alberio not being listed at first.

The statements of the witnesses for the defense were not inconsistent with that of


Therefore, there is no reason to no

t believe in Alberios testimony.

The present case is covered by article 4 (par.1-result greater than what was intended).

Aggravating circumstance: art 14(1).

TC erred in not appreciating the Mitigating circumstance that the offender had no

intention to

commit so grave a wrong as that committed

No intent to kill but only to maltreat the drunk napola who might have beenmaking a nuisance of

He realized the fearful consequence of his felonious act, he allowed Napola tosecure medical treatment
at the municipal dispensary

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